Friday, November 1, 2013

Fiction Friday: Methuselah -- Empty Apartment

For other posts in the series, visit the Methuselah page on this blog. 

Agnes pressed her thumb to the reader and then picked up her bag just as the door opened. She almost dropped the bag on her foot as soon as she saw the disarray of the living room.

Every cushion had been lifted off the couch, ripped open, and tossed aside. The desk drawers had been pulled out and their contents dumped. The place had been ransacked.

She backed out and, heart pounding, went down to the security desk without touching anything.

Minutes later, a police officer was on the scene. After an astonishingly cursory look at the apartment,  officer Jorge brought her back in to go over the damage with him. All of her electronics were gone, as well as her jewellery. Not that she had a lot, but there was the cameo she had inherited from her grandmother. She’d never see it again.

“Does anyone else have access to the apartment?” the officer questioned.

“My boyfriend, Glen. But I haven’t been able to reach him in days,” she answered. She suddenly wondered if something had happened to him. What if he was here when this happened?

“It doesn’t look like anyone forced entry, so we’ll have to see who entered recently.” Jorge pointed his forensic device at the print-reader. A series of melodic beeps confirmed that the data was downloaded.

“Let’s see: you, of course. Glen Eberhardt — is that your boyfriend’s name?” He continued after Agnes nodded.

"Mara Freund. Do you know that name?”

“My mother.” Agnes couldn’t imagine why her mother would have come to the apartment. She’d visited her at the recuperation centre, but there had been no reason for her to stop by the apartment. Unless she wanted to visit Glen, which was possible; they liked each other.

“Ana from TidyTown Cleaners. Were they authorized?”

“Yes. I hate cleaning, but I have allergies, so I can’t just let it go,” she always felt apologetic when she told people she had a cleaning service, like she was a failure at the domestic arts. Which, in many ways she was, but so was Glen and he never apologized for paying someone else to clean their home. “There may also have been a food delivery from Comida Paolo,” she added. “We don’t like grocery shopping either.”

“Yes there was. And Glen several times before that,” Jorge continued, as if he were accustomed to this soliloquy. “And then we have you, so that brings us back to the last time you were in the apartment. That would be about eight weeks ago?”

Agnes nodded again, with a puzzled frown. It didn’t make sense.

“Let’s just step outside and confirm that the print-reader is working correctly,” Jorge motioned to the hall.

They closed the door then tried to open it without reading any prints — it remained firmly locked.

They scanned Agnes’ finger again, and the door released. Again, they closed it, confirmed it was locked, then scanned Jorge’s print. The door remained locked, as it was supposed to unless there were an active alarm.

After reviewing the windows, Jorge sent her his contact information, told her she would have to come down to the station to file an official complaint but that, for now, he had all the information he needed. “You should do a thorough inventory before coming down,” he added. “Once your formal complaint is filed, you won’t be able to add any items you had overlooked.”

Well, Glen, Agnes muttered after she closed the door, thanks for being here for me. Asshole.

Fortunately, there was an unopened bottle of chardonnay in the fridge. She poured herself a glass then went to the bathroom and ran a bath while she dealt with the mess in that room.

She closed the door so that she could ignore the unbelievable chaos beyond, tapped the sound system to relaxation. She lit a few candles, sprinkled some oil over the water then undressed and sank into the water.

This had not been a good day, not by a long stretch.


  1. Somehow I missed the bit about Glen from Chapter 2 part 1. Glad I went back and read it, but now I want to hug Agnes and tell her it'll be ok.


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